With the stratospheric rise in the use of mobile devices and the rise in the popularity of mobile phones; you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice if your website is not designed to respond and adjust to mobile and other devices.
Responsive design is the “big thing” in web design right now. But if you are not a designer, you may be wondering what this term means. You might also be unsure as to whether or not a business’s website should be implementing responsive design, especially if you do not understand the concept. But, what’s a responsive website? What does it look and/or feel like?
A responsive website is a website design that allows your website to adapt to the size of any screen it is being viewed on. So it could be viewed on say, a desktop, phone, or a tablet etc and users won’t ‘notice any difference’ in your site’s general appearance on their screen.
Those of us who build and work on the web were alerted in late 2016 that Google is pivoting in terms of how searches will be ranked. The move is called “mobile first indexing,” which means … what, exactly? In Google’s own words:
“Currently our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”
In plain English, it means that mobile is taking precedence over desktops when it comes to how sites are indexed and how Google looks at ranking signals. Historically, Google indexed and ranked websites (mobile and non-mobile) based on the experience and the content of their desktop versions. Going forward, Google will now also include that to the content of the website’s mobile experience.
Benefits of choosing a responsive design for your website
Maintaining separate sites for your mobile and non-mobile audiences can get expensive. By using responsive design, you can save money by eliminating the cost of paying for a mobile site. You will only need to invest in a single site design to appeal to all visitors and all devices.
- Improved user experience
User experience is crucial to website owners. You want people to like your site, and you want it to be easy to use to convince them to come back. If someone visits your website on a mobile device, and it takes forever to load or your pictures do not have the proper resolution, it can make your company appear unprofessional.
No one wants to do business with a place that is unprofessional. But responsive design, which offers a much better user experience, can help convince people to give your company a chance. Because zooming and scrolling will be eliminated, content can be viewed quicker, and the overall impression that visitors have will be much more positive.
- Search engine optimization gains
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a strategy used by many companies to help boost themselves in Google’s search page rankings. The closer you are to the top, the better the chance potential customers will find you.
Responsive design can help with SEO because Google, as mentioned, gives preference to websites that are mobile-friendly. In combination with other SEO factors, responsiveness can help give you a big boost in search engine results.
- Ease of management
Most businesses, especially smaller ones, don’t have a lot of time to update or refresh the way their website looks. But rather than having to hire a designer to handle every aspect of your website, responsive design allows you to make the changes yourself, quickly and easily.
Additionally, with just one website, other elements of your marketing will be much easier to manage. You’ll never have to wonder if you should link the mobile or desktop site on a social media update, or question whether or not all of your redirect links will be working to get the right visitors to the right site. Responsiveness takes much of the stress out of managing a business website.
Still, there are disadvantages to every kind of design, not just responsive. The overwhelming majority of responsive website statistics reinforce the idea that this is the best approach.
Contact us today to get a no-obligation quote for a responsive redesign of your website.